Cubs Business President Crane Kenney is Confident Comcast-Marquee Deal Will Get Done When Baseball Returns

Social Navigation

Cubs Business President Crane Kenney is Confident Comcast-Marquee Deal Will Get Done When Baseball Returns

Chicago Cubs

As we know, without the urgency created by live sports actually being live, there hasn’t been much reason for the Cubs, Sinclair, and Marquee to negotiate aggressively with Comcast about getting a carriage deal done. Moreover, with Sinclair handling the negotiations and plausibly bundling Marquee in those talks as it seeks a new carriage deal with Comcast for its FOX RSN channels (due around August), no one is thinking a deal gets done any time soon.

HOWEVER, tonight at a virtual season ticket holder meeting, Cubs Business President Crane Kenney did offer an update, and some optimism for the half of Cubs fans in the Chicago area who have Comcast and want to be able to watch Marquee:

To be sure, Kenney and Marquee have long signaled optimism that, when the rubber met the road (i.e., the season was about to start), Comcast would come to terms on a carriage agreement (despite it being a uniquely challenging negotiation). Moreover, Sinclair indicated as far back as February that, eventually, they felt a deal would get done for Marquee with both Comcast and DISH. So, this kind of optimism is not necessarily new.

Still, it’s good to get this kind of update in the post-pandemic environment – we’ve not had a direct comment like this about the carriage situation since pre-COVID times – and it’s interesting to see that Kenney dubs the situation as being very close to a deal even before baseball shut down. Of course, the pandemic has created an entirely new world, but it generally still tracks that, among the various content options, live sports will remain very compelling for cable operators (at least in the near-term).

We can look ahead to the talks picking up steam if and when baseball looks more seriously on track to open its season in July.

For more on the interrelationship between Marquee, Comcast, Sinclair, and the pandemic, see my longer write-up here. And for more of the latest on TV issues in this era, see here. There’s a lot going on in the background, so those links should get you started if you missed them and want more.

Latest from Bleacher Nation:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.